Monday, August 29, 2011

The Battle Rejoined

On Tuesday night, the Red Sox engage the Empire for three of the final six games between the longtime rivals. Boston holds a 10-2 edge thus far and can start to put the Pinstriped Posers in the rear view mirror with a sweep at Fenway. Thanks to the Orioles, the Sox could remain 2 1/2 or 1 1/2 games ahead of the Bronx Embalmers heading into the series (depending on whether the O's can win again on Monday).

Kevin Youkilis will sit out this encounter, a serious blow on both sides of the ball. The lineup just isn't as potent without Youk, and neither Lowrie nor Aviles have his range or overall defensive skills at third.

The pitching match-ups—aside from Tuesday's CC vs. Lackey—favor Boston. Wednesday pits Josh Beckett against Phil Hughes; Thursday is Jon Lester vs. A. J. Burnett. The Red Sox should take 2 of 3 and end up either 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 games up with just 26 games left to play.